sunday circular

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Tiny Scissors to Tangy Mayo

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist

We write about hundreds of products each week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked some of our recent favorites: expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and very good deals we uncovered while trawling through the vast online-shopping universe — including a bath mat made from ancient stone, a trompe l’oeil AirPods case, and a colorful kid’s ski jacket.

A petite pair of scissors


Strategist contributor Caroline Weaver never goes anywhere without her Twiggy scissors — and because they’re TSA-approved, she even takes them on planes. She’s found them extremely handy for an “endless number of things: cutting off price tags, opening packages, finishing spontaneous craft projects, wrapping gifts, trimming loose threads, cutting tape, removing wristbands, doing quick hair trims, and so much more,” Weaver writes. “I’ve even chopped up a T-shirt with them.” They have a very slim, discreet profile and come in tons of fun colors, making them the perfect stocking stuffer for a stationery-obsessed friend.

The grocery-store condiment beloved by Claire Saffitz

From $8

Claire Saffitz counts Kewpie mayo among her very favorite products, declaring it her “No. 1 condiment of choice” because of “how tangy it is, and the texture is so silky. It doesn’t have that gelatinous quality other store-bought mayonnaise can have.” Her husband was a fan of Kewpie before she was, but over time she became such a devoted convert that now she adds it to dozens of dishes: “I put it in all my salad dressings; I make spicy mayo by adding some sriracha; and I put it on sandwiches. Basically there’s nothing that is not improved by a little bit of Kewpie.”

A trompe l’oeil Airpods case Peter Rabbit would love

It started with a tin of mints shaped like caviar, then a barrette covered in shiny plastic pasta; at this point, Strategist contributor Allison Rodman has “amassed what is now a pantry’s worth of functional objects that look like food.” She’s especially fond of her cabbage-shaped Airpods case. “Friends and strangers alike are constantly asking me where I got this precious bit of Peterrabbitcore (a subgenre of cottagecore I just made up),” Rodman writes. “And one time, I watched a confused bartender in the dimly lit Nancy’s Whiskey Pub slowly reach out and touch it before recoiling, completely unaware of what her finger had made contact with.”

Unfussy onesies for fussy newborns

Strategist writer Lauren Ro recently gave birth to her second son, Solomon, and now has lots of thoughts on how she would redo her baby registry if given the chance. “I was underprepared in the baby-clothing department with my first son, Augie, so with Solomon I made sure I had a stash of comfortable and functional newborn outfits,” Ro writes. “A friend of mine told me about these H&M ones that were basically the only clothes her daughter wore. They’re made of lightweight cotton (good for warm weather, when Solomon was born, but also for layering) with snap buttons and don’t look too pajama-y (not that that really matters since babies are asleep most of the day, but I appreciate the versatility).” They also come in a zip version and are available in multipacks or as singles, with tons of “actually cute, subdued patterns to choose from.”

A million-year-old bath mat for drying your feet …

Before Strategist writer Erin Schwartz bought a diatomaceous-earth mat, they’d used a “terry-cloth or woven-cotton one that felt great straight out of the wash, but got damp, grimy, pulled out of shape, or matted down after a few uses.” Schwartz’s current mat, however, “avoids the moist pitfalls of the squishy-and-soft mat” because it’s a “slab of stone” made from “a crumbly, lightweight, and very porous rock called diatomite.” It absorbs moisturize extraordinarily well — “within half an hour of showering in my small, mildew-prone New York City bathroom, it’s as dry as a bone,” Schwartz says. It also takes much longer to “get icky than a textile mat” and can be cleaned with just a quick scrubbing using “dish soap and a plastic-bristle brush.”

… and ballet dancer–approved booties for keeping them warm

Bloch Adult Warm Up Booties
From $36
From $36

Growing up, Strategist junior writer Kitty Guo used to see girls at her ballet studio wearing these puffy Bloch booties before class or backstage during rehearsals. When she started attending adult classes, she decided to order a pair for herself. “They were like puffer coats for my feet, swaddling them in warmth and comfort,” Guo writes. “They’re made from a lightweight nylon shell stuffed with an insulated polyester filling, and have a thin, grippy sole that keeps you from sliding around but is flexible enough for your feet to move freely.” She has even taken to wearing them around the house in lieu of regular slippers, as their full-length design keeps her “nice and toasty all the way up past the ankle.”

Colorful glassware for hosting holiday parties

Material Kitchen, the maker of our very favorite cutting boards, recently released a tablescaping collection, just in time for all your holiday dinner–party needs. The collection includes linen placemats, napkins, and a tablecloth in complementary stonewashed hues, as well as colored glassware available in stemmed and stemless sets of six. And as a bonus, the brand is currently hosting its annual 20 percent–off Kinder Kitchens sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Lower Eastside Girls Club, which provides programming and mentoring to young women of color throughout New York City.

The best outerwear for the bunny slopes

As winter approaches, we consulted with a panel of experts on everything you need to equip a kid who’s just learning how to ski and snowboard. Since there’s “no surer way to prematurely end a day on the slopes with a toddler than waterlogged socks, uncomfortable goggles, or getting wet and cold after a big wipeout,” having the right gear is crucial, and Helly Hansen’s outerwear was recommended by multiple parents for its durability and waterproofing. Ali Givnish, a youth-development program coordinator with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, called out the brand’s ski jackets in particular “for the pop of bright orange on each one, making it easier to find your little shredder on the slopes.”

Mood-setting smart lightbulbs

Philips Hue 1100 Lumen Smart Bulbs
$78 for 2
$78 for 2

For our latest installment of Steal My Party, Brooklyn-based recipe developer Mehreen Karim told us how she pulled off a Friendsgiving party for 25 people in her one-bedroom apartment. “I just want to feed people while they’re having a good time and make them feel really grateful to be in this specific space tonight,” Karim says. That means curating a festive ambience is just as important, perhaps even more important, than serving a delicious menu, and these Philips Hue smart lightbulbs are crucial for setting the right tone. “To me, that’s the star of the evening, being able to change the colors as the night goes on,” Karim told us. “I like to change them in gradients, so they’re lighter when people first get there, and then they dim down and change color as the sun sets, and by the end of the night it’s darker.”

Lena Waithe’s tried-and-true moisturizer

When we asked Lena Waithe to share her can’t-live-without products, she called Palmer’s cocoa butter “an oldie but a goodie” that’s been “in my house since I was a kid.” Growing up, moisturizing was just “something that has been ingrained in me … Always making sure you’re lotioning, always making sure your lips aren’t dry, always making sure your hair isn’t dry,” Waithe told us. “I think it’s cultural, and I’m not alone in that.” She says this beloved lotion has been “passed down among generations” because it’s a “wonderful product that, to me, has always been perfect.”

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

10 Things That Delighted Us: Tiny Scissors to Tangy Mayo